If you want to maintain healthy joints, start with a healthy lifestyle.
A joint is where two or more bones come together—such as the hip, knee, shoulder, or elbow. They help us bend, move, and rotate. We use them every day, but don’t give them much thought. Over time, joints can experience wear and tear, which is referred to as joint degeneration. This can lead to pain and injuries.
Want to avoid the pain and discomfort that many people associate with aging? Start by taking good care of your body—it’s the only one you have, after all. Strong, healthy joints are less prone to injury. To maintain healthy joints, practice healthy lifestyle habits:
- Maintain a healthy weight. The less you weigh, the less strain you’ll place on your joints. When you walk down stairs, your knee absorbs a force three to five times more than your actual body weight. If you’re carrying extra weight, you’re placing undue strain on your joints.
- Keep moving. Movement is key to good health for a variety of reasons. When you remain sedentary for long periods of time, joints become stiff. Make it a habit to move frequently.
- Build strong muscles. The muscles and connective tissues that surround joints provide support and stability. If your muscles are weak, your joints may take on the extra workload—and wear out faster.
- Maintain core strength. Your core is the foundation of all of your movement. Weak core muscles can lead to poor posture, low back pain, and injury. Maintain a strong core to protect your joints and prevent falls.
- Practice good posture. Slouching is harmful to joints. When you maintain good posture, your muscles and skeletal system work together to put less strain on your joints.
- Boost your balance. Maintaining good balance will help ensure that your joints will be less likely to sustain trauma in a nasty fall.
The best defense is a good offense. Consider implementing these lifestyle changes to maintain healthy joints for the long-term. Of course, if you have severe joint pain that is affecting your quality of life, we can always talk about joint replacement.